Tradition! Holidays are full of family traditions-those activities that families return to again and again. Family members look forward to each holiday because they love the traditions. Family traditions on the Fourth of July can be dictated by three things: laws of the land, where they live and their family.
In some form, most families have a tradition involving fireworks but laws often influence those traditions. While many love to gather at dusk and watch the bursting firecrackers they shoot into the sky, states, like Ohio, outlaw every form of fireworks except those that interest children: sparklers, snappers, smokers and snakes. Firework laws, encourage families to form traditions that include attending city-run firework displays or traveling to areas that allow fireworks. Some families form traditions that turn them into yearly outlaws and set off fireworks in spite of the laws.
Where a family lives affects the traditions families form. Those living in small towns tend to base their traditions on home barbecues and activities provided by their community. Some larger cities, like Greeley, Colorado, provide a plethora of opportunities for families, including large parades that involve community members. The city of Greeley plan events and activities like a carnival, rodeos, concerts and a large parade. Families pick and choose the activities they enjoy the most, creating their own traditions. Larger, historical cities, like Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, have many historical events for families to add to their traditions to bring a truly patriotic tone to the traditions.
The location of family members also affects the traditions families form. Relatives that live near each other often gather together to celebrate the Fourth of July. Parks and backyards are full of families enjoying picnics and barbecues. Many times, the traditions include special foods from recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation. Those who have no family nearby develop traditions that include friends who are in the same situation.
Regardless of the laws, your location or the whereabouts of your family, it is fun and easy to start your own Fourth of July traditions. Scour the newspaper to find the events your community offers every year. Find recipes your family loves and make them every year. Watch the parade or find a way to join it! Invite your family members to a barbecue or arrange for a block party with a potluck for your neighborhood. Decorate your home with an all-American theme; hang a flag out in the front yard to complete the patriotic look.
Traditions don’t have to be fancy and extravagant to be fun. Simply sharing a story with your children each year that explains the meaning of the holiday qualifies as a family tradition. Start planning your Fourth of July holiday traditions this year.